Steven Nelms and his wife, Glory, have been married for three years. When their son Ezra was born, they both decided that Glory should stay at home to care for him.
“With childcare costs it would’ve been a wash with her income at best. So we decided that she would stay home as long as it made sense,” Steven said.
To show his appreciation for all that his wife does, Steven wrote a profound post on the site We Are Glory which later went viral on social media. And once you read what he wrote, it’s not hard to see why:
“I’ve had this thought in my head for a while now. I’ve been thinking that I can’t afford for my wife to be a stay-at-home mom.”
“Now, I don’t at all mean to offend anyone with this post. I just have to say that for me personally, I can’t afford it. I’d like to explain exactly what I mean by that so that no one thinks I’m in any way devaluing stay-at-home moms. On the contrary, I mean that I quite literally cannot afford my wife to be staying at home.”
“My wife stays home and takes care of our son every single day. She changes his diapers, feeds him, plays with him, puts him down for his nap, and comforts him when he’s upset. And that’s just the bare minimum.”
“He gets all of her. All of her love, all of her time, all of her energy. She is always there, always near, and always listening.”
“Yes, my wife is my son’s mother and it is a natural result of being a parent to love and care for your own child, there is also a very quantifiable dollar amount that can be attributed to the services rendered.”
Based on personal research, this is what Steven feels is the cost of everything his wife does:
- National average weekly salary for a full-time nanny: $705, or $36,660 a year
- Cleaning service: $50 to $100 per visit once a week, or $5,200 a year
- Personal shopper (running errands like groceries, etc.): $65 per hour at 4 hours a week, or $13,520 a year
- Chef: $240 a week, or $12,480 a year
- Financial assistant (budgeting, paying the bills, etc.): $15 an hour at 5 hours a week, or $3,900 a year
- Professional interactions (business dinners, etc.): $75 per hour at 4 hours per dinner 3 times a year, or $900 a year
- Laundry: $25 a week, or $1,300 a year
“That’s an annual salary of $73,960. Looking objectively at an almost insultingly conservative average of the services rendered, I cannot afford my wife.”
“And let’s remember, there’s no sick leave with childcare, there’s no paid time off, there’s no 401(k). All of the incentives that someone who makes over 70K a year would normally enjoy are not part of this deal. All of the worker appreciations, merit bonuses, and recognition that comes with being a part of an office are out too.”
“The truth is, I’m ashamed of any time I’ve ever made her feel guilty or humored when she’s purchased something for herself. I’m ashamed that she has ever felt like she doesn’t have just as much right to our income as I do.”
“The fact of the matter is that our income doesn’t even come close to covering what she does for our family. I would have to make over 100K to even begin to be able to cover my living expenses as well as employ my wife as a stay-at-home mom!”
“She loves me, loves our son, and loves our family, so obviously she isn’t doing any of those things for a paycheck or even for recognition. But it certainly doesn’t hurt to know that as a stay-at-home mom her appraised salary is nearly double my actual income.”
“So in a very weird way, this is my way of saying how much I value my wife as the mother of my child and the one who always has my back no matter what. You are more precious than rubies. And I can’t afford you.”
Hats off to you, Steven, for stating the obvious.
You can read the full essay here.